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To HOPE or not to HOPE: A Georgia Problem

The recent HOPE Scholarship deduction sparked the interest of current and future college students. Originally, the HOPE Scholarship paid for almost full tuition of any Georgia college and part of a private college tuition. Luckily enough for students, a 3.0 GPA qualified them for the scholarship. Now, Governor Deal proposed to raise the standards for receiving the HOPE Scholarship. Under the new plan, a student has a 3.7 GPA and a 1200 SAT score, the student is eligible for HOPE and up to 100 percent in tuition fees, where as a student with a 3.0 GPA will get plus or minus 90 percent in tuition fees.
I believe this was a bold and wise move on the government’s part. Students can no longer coat tail off of the government for money. It seems as though students can now be rewarded for their hard work, unlike previous students who took an easier way out in receiving money because the standards were so low. If a student received an overall minimum “B” average in high school, chances are they aren’t quite ready to receive “free” money for college.
Under the previous HOPE Scholarship policy, students only had to have the bare minimum of a “B” average. This doesn’t cut it for me. Back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, (and hopefully today), having a college education was considered an “elite” status. I believe all students should be given the opportunity to attend college because it’s a privilege, not a right. HOPE was intended to keep the high achieving and top students in Georgia, but it’s currently out of hand. Receiving full tuition for college should be a privilege and prize to someone, rather than something a student will not work hard for, knowing they can receive tuition with only doing minimum work.
Under the new standards, students can finally be rewarded for their hard work. The fact of the matter is, many students who receive HOPE for a college like UGA or Georgia Tech can’t even keep it for their first year. Instead of propelling UGA to a national status for its academics, all it has done is make the #1 party school in the U.S. In some cases, it is no longer keeping the top achievers in the school because it’s allowing students to sneak by an receive tuition.
Those same students who figure college is just a party are probably the same students ones who had the bare minimum of a B during high school. In my opinion, chances are they were not prepared for college but received the scholarship anyway because the qualifications were made so low to begin with. So, after looking at these facts, and the overwhelming budget crisis, it’s pretty apparent why the Georgia government decided to raise the standards.
College should be taken seriously, especially when it comes to who’s paying for it. As a high school students myself, I strive to do my best in the hopes of being rewarded rather than awarding underachievers. So for all of those UGA, Georgia Tech, Oglethorpe and Georgia State students who are partying hard and forgetting the real reason behind a college education, think again, because college is about to get a lot pricier.



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